Architect, In*Situ Architecture
in El Paso
Architect William Helm is the founding principal of In*Situ Architecture in El Paso, Texas — a city he has called home for the past 21 years. William was introduced to PechaKucha at a lecture Mark Dytham gave at the University at Buffalo in 2006 while completing his Master of Architecture work. Shortly thereafter he gave his first 20x20 presentation at PechaKucha Buffalo Vol 2 before returning to his beloved city of El Paso to continue the conversation. With the help of a few friends in the local design community in 2008, William launched PechaKucha Night El Paso in a land that was thirsty for the creative discourse that PechaKucha Night had to offer. In the years that have followed, William founded In*Situ Architecture — which has grown over the past few years to be one of the leading design firms in the city. In*Situ Architecture is now a mid-sized firm with a staff of nine — practicing architecture primarily in the greater El Paso region. William has leveraged PechaKucha partnerships in the El Paso community over the subsequent years as well to include collaborative events across the national border with PechaKucha Juarez. PechaKucha Night El Paso celebrated their 10th year with vol.19 earlier this year. Most recently, William attended his third PechaKucha PowWow of City Organizers in Tokyo this spring and presented at PechaKucha Night Aalen, Germany this past summer.
Building Bridges, Not Walls at the US - Mexico Border
BY WILLIAM HELM
@ VOL 134
ON MAR 18, 2016
"We hope whoever becomes president builds more bridges instead of walls [because] we are sister cities, divided only by the river."
In Building Bridges, Not Walls at the US - Mexico Border from PKN Tokyo Vol 134, PechaKucha Night El Paso City Organizers (and acclaimed architects) William Helm and Edgar Lopez describe the symbiotic relationship of the sister cities of El Paso and Juarez. The residents of the two cities activate a third space of the US/Mexico border, called "Pass of the North" which produces a rich milieu of creativity, art and culture. In this place which was historically known as "Paso del Norte" along the Spanish road from Mexico City to Santa Fe, the two cities have come together to use the PechaKucha conversation to bridge across the border. 20 x 20 x 2 cities = building bridges not walls.